When COVID-19 spread into a pandemic around the world in 2020, the concept of leisure activities all but ground to a halt. This included travel abroad, such as when vacationing to popular tourist getaways like theme parks. Hong Kong Disneyland, the smallest of the Disneyland park complexes, already has the smallest visitor count as well. But the pandemic forced onto it the indignity of closing doors no less than twice all of last year, as Hong Kong sought to battle its own COVID spread. While the problem has not gone away, the general situation was deemed okay enough for HKD to be allowed to reopen.
Variety has it that Hong Kong Disneyland is gearing up to welcome visitors again starting this coming Friday, February 19. The announcement was made just this Wednesday on the 17th, and comes in the wake of certain health protocol measures being relaxed by Hong Kong health officials. That is not to say that safety measures will be done away with soon, but the first tourists to enter HKD since its last COVID-mandated closure in December of last year will find that social distancing regulations, for example, are no longer prohibitive.
Here is how things will be done in Hong Kong Disneyland starting this weekend, according to a statement by the park management. They will be open only five times a day, with Tuesdays and Thursdays (unless a public holiday or special HK day) off to allow for cleaning and disinfection. Walk-in visitors are a no for now, with advance ticket reservations remaining mandatory. They must also fill in a health declaration the moment they enter, or if Hong Kong residents, must scan their government-issued LeaveHomeSafe QR codes. Visitor capacity will be set by the government to prevent congestion, though no percentages were provided for now.
On the side of the theme park, all HKD operations personnel and staff must also submit to testing for COVID every 14 days. And of course, facemasks are still required for everybody involved. All in all, the Disneyland parks of the world are almost all back in business, with the exception of Disneyland Paris Resort and the original park in Anaheim, due to local government regulations. And HKD is running a bit late compared to Hong Kong’s other signature theme park, Ocean Park which will be ready Thursday, February 18. That is the same days cinemas in HK will reopen.
During 2020, HKD underwent some serious remodeling. The original Sleeping Beauty Castle centerpiece building was changed to a more impressive original structure like Shanghai Disneyland, the Castle of Magical Dreams.
Image courtesy of Yahoo! News